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Rodney last won the day on April 22

Rodney had the most liked content!

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About Rodney

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    Songwriting and music; epistemology, and epistemology relating to mathematics (see my essay UNDERSTANDING IMAGINARIES THROUGH HIDDEN NUMBERS); and philosophy generally.

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    Rodney Rawlings
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    I am a Toronto Objectivist. In 2011 after many and varied struggles in the field of music I turned to writing specifically art songs. Now, so far, I have had my art songs and concert band pieces performed in Toronto; in Austin, Texas; in Chicago; in Chautauqua, New York; in Geneva, Illinois; in Elgin, Illinois; and in Munster, Indiana. I write the lyrics to almost all my songs, which concern reverence, aspiration, romance, independence, and the future. These themes also occur in those songs for which I have adapted an existing text.
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  1. One does not even need any math to resolve the paradox (explain the apparent contradiction). It was resolved at the beginning. It only takes a little thought and a discovery of the fallacious assumptions in the statement of the "contradiction." One can state things in mathematical terms afterwards, but that is not necessary. The thread is useful only in showing how screwed-up a mind can be, and still seem brilliant (and perhaps be such, in certain quite limited aspects).
  2. In my top favorites by him, how could I neglect to mention Pitney's "Only Love Can Break a Heart" (thanks for the reminder of it) and his "Half Heaven, Half Heartache "? Both of these records sit at the pinnacles of songwriting and arrangement excellence, in my view. (Bacharach wrote the first one.)
  3. Gene Pitney's "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" has always been one of my favorite records. The song was never used in the movie it was written for, but I had never heard of any such movie anyway. From the standpoint of music theory, I am intrigued by the fact that the fiddle introduction to "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" is intentionally out of tune--and that the record is the better for it. I explain this by holding that music is based ultimately not on the use of mathematical tonal relationships but on the use of psychological impulses of which a major example is the use of those tonal relationships. Gene Pitney did another song that WAS used in its same-titled movie: "Town Without Pity," again one of my favorites, and again one whose connected movie I never knew existed. The record seems to capture all the inchoate yearnings and confusions of the young people of the time.
  4. Here is the lyric: AVE MARIA (Ellen’s Prayer) Ave Maria! Maiden mild! O, listen to a maiden’s prayer! Thou canst hear though from the wild, thou canst save amid despair. Ave Maria! Ave Maria! May safe we sleep beneath thy care, though banished, outcast and reviled. O, maiden! Hear a maiden’s prayer, Let thy protection hover there, The murky cavern’s heavy air shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled; Then maiden hear me as I pray, Ave Maria, Maria, Ave! (After Walter Scott)
  5. Here is a link to my song "Ave Maria (Ellen's Prayer)" as performed March 10 in Minneapolis. The singer is Christina Christensen, mezzo-soprano ( and the pianist is Emily Urban ( (I am not sure how long this link will remain active; I will post a permanent link later. However, the audio file can be downloaded from this link.)
  6. As Valentine's Day winds down, here's a little offering, by one Leapy Lee, as a sendoff: There's a boy a little boyShooting arrows in the blueAnd he's aiming them at someoneBut the question is at who.Is it me or is it youIt's hard to tell until you're hitBut you know it when they hit you'Cause they hurt a little bit.Here they comePouring out of the blue ...
  7. When I saw the first ads for MADAME SECRETARY, I realized right away the subtext. Never watched it.
  8. My song "When Matter Touches Antimatter" is set to be performed again this month in Austin, TX. I got this email this morning: Rodney, Hope you're well! Fast Forward Austin has asked OOO [One Ounce Opera] to contribute a short set of contemporary art song on their upcoming FFA Festival, Sat 9/22. I would like to include an encore performance of "When Matter Touches Antimatter," if you approve of the inclusion. Here's a link to more about the event, which is free to attend: Here's more about Fast Forward Austin: Let me know what you think! Best, Julie Julie Fiore Executive Director and Founder
  9. I hope that wasn't to argue against me, because I know all that you said of course. The slip is not between the wheels, but between one of the wheels and its tangential path. Which one depends on which wheel is doing the actual rolling.
  10. Looking over this thread I see that all the points I would want to make have already been made. The paradox is easily resolved in reason. The resolution obviously would be able to be mathematically expressed; but it would be a mathematical expression of slippage, and quite unnecessary to the curious mind. So I am out.
  11. Hold a flower by the stem and twirl it in your fingers. Notice how slowly you can move your fingers while the petals whirl around.
  12. Yes, that's a good one, always liked it--though not as much as this one. BBJ is also easier to interpret in rational-ethical terms.
  13. This song, "Desert Pete" by The Kingston Trio, at first blush seems to convincingly argue against the ethics of rational self-interest: There is no denying the impact of the song for many listeners. Judge for yourself: However, I think the song's impact stems from factors that do not have to involve the literal truth of the quoted lines: the compelling issues of pioneer life and human survival that form the factual background; the power of art--the excellence of the song as a song, including the fact that the spoken portions are poetic and underpinned with good music and the chorus has a good melody; the repetition in the chorus, with its well-known artistic effect of tying all the thoughts into a satisfying unity; and a certain underlying truth behind the moral force of the tale. I think it is possible to state that moral principle in terms compatible with rational self-interest. I have my own formulation. Anyone else care to address it?
  14. I have made my own YouTube video for "When Matter Touches Antimatter." The audio is from the World Premiere, performed by tenor Brian Minnick, November 3, 2017, at Central Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas. The song was a winner of the Second Fresh Squeezed Ounce of Art Song competition, hosted by One Ounce Opera.
  15. I should mention I don't like 90% of her work, especially the later things (I admit I have not heard much of it)! But the things I do like I find stimulating and challenging. Moreover, I am fascinated by her personality, which you might as well get a sample of here. I am a melody man, and there is not much of a tune in this song ("Hunter"), but there are other aspects of the music I do like--and look at her facial expressions as she sings!